Amel Belmahdi SOC103H1 Wednesday, July 8, 2013
Lecture 3 – Social Structures
Defining Social Structure:
− Institution –Aset of socially constructured norms (rules we impose on one another for certain
behaviour – ex. what you're supposed to do in a relationship, church, school, etc.,) and
meanings (ways of understanding and viewing the world) drawn from culture that define the
expectations people hold.
Institutions, Structures, and Values:
− Patterns – People do certain sequences of things in a certain culture. If they don't do these
things, there will be uncertainty, confusion, etc.
The Differentiation of Social Forms:
− People's roles and identities have diversified over the past 200 years.
− This change has been accelerated by the development of large social networks and the growth
of social media.
− New media make possible the creation of new social forms such as blogs, chatrooms,
interactive gaming in cyberspace, and virtual identities.
People's lives have Individualized:
− Individualization – everyone's lives have been more different than everybody elses' lives.
− Example of fluidty is relationship status (stage they are at with each other – girl friend/boy
friend, engaged, married, divorced, etc).
− Women's lives have become more idiosyncracy than men's lives and more varied.
AWide Range of Consequences:
− Brain swells and is constrained by the skull so you can lose brain functioning (ex. speech, sight,
etc) if pressure isn't released on time.
TBI isAssociated with Particular Social and Demographic Characteristics:
− Accidents are predictable (can tell which people will end up with the type of accident).
Groups, Roles and Identities:
− There's a predictable pattern relating brain injury with the types of people who are most likely
to have it.
Question: What are the LinksAmong these Variables, and with Brain Injury?: − In a classic work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1790),Adam Smith argued that social
sentiments are “natural.”
− But sociologists believe these are learned socially, not inborn – we learn through taking on roles
and by taking on roles, we take on identities and we learn from those.
Our Values, Views and Behaviuors are Socially Created:
− We have an understanding of what other people expect us to do or not to do and as members of
society, we try to do what other people expect of us.
Howard Becker's Outsiders: The Learning and Practice of Deviance:
− Deviance is normal and they deviate because they learn to deviate (the same way you learn to
− For example, smoking weed – back in th